By August 19, 2011

Krups GVX-1 Burr Coffee Grinder Review

It was a minor tragedy when my Solis Maestro (now sold by Baratza) burr grinder died when we still lived in Virginia. The grinder had a lot of great qualities: it looked nice, had a pretty consistent grind, and was reasonably fast. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but the Maestro also had a heavy base which kept the grinder from moving around the counter while it was operating.

Last December I replaced the Solis with the Black & Decker CBM210. It did just fine in a pinch, but it had a few fundamental flaws.

From a daily usage perspective, the Black & Decker CBM210 didn’t grind a consistent size. Some of the particles were larger than others, which led to an inconsistent taste when I tried finer grind settings.

It was also super loud, which caused a problem if I didn’t think ahead and grind coffee the night before. I often had to decide between waking up the house to the sound of a noisy grinder, or skipping on coffee until everyone was up.

Lastly, the CBM210 was lightweight and cheaply made. It moved around on the counter during use, and I had to keep it from roaming R2-D2-like off of the counter.

I saw the Krups GVX-1 burr grinder at Costco for $30 and decided to give it a try.

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Features and Specifications

The Krups GVX-1 and the Black & Decker CBM210 are roughly the same size. However, the GVX is more sturdy, and the base is heavier than the Black & Decker. The GVX is still smaller and lighter than the Maestro, but it is less than a third of the price. Tradeoffs.

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The grind coarseness selector is on the left-hand side of the GVX. There are seventeen settings, and I don’t think there is really all that refinement between the settings. I’ll get to that in a bit, but I think there are probably five actual, noticeable different grind fineness settings.

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There is a large dial on the front of the grinder. This allows you to set how much coffee is ground at when the power button is pressed. I always make 10 cups of coffee at a time in our Bunn NHBX, so I always grind 10 cups of coffee. This dial may be useful for you if you use multiple devices to make coffee, like a drip machine, a French press, and then an AeroPress.

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The Krups GVX-1 holds 3/4 of a cup of whole bean coffee. This almost fills the bin when set to grind 10 cups of coffee at medium-coarseness. I am sure you could grind the maximum 12-cup setting at medium-coarseness, but dispensing the grounds from the bin may be messy.

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I strongly dislike the hopper lid. The lid has to be tightly affixed to the unit in order to run. The problem is that it’s hard to determine if the lid is down far enough to actuate the safety mechanism. Sometimes the lid is on tightly enough at the start, but vibrates loose during operation and the grinder shuts off. That’s fucking annoying.

Performance

The Krups GVX-1 is definitely a better grinder than the Black & Decker on all counts. The grind is more consistent, it is more quiet, and doesn’t putter around on the counter. However, the Krups isn’t without it’s problems.

The biggest problem with the GVX is that sometimes the beans don’t fall into the burr grinders. The machine usually fixes itself, probably three out of four times. That fourth time, though — it’ll just keep spinning until I give it a shake and knock more beans into the grinders. It’s commonplace enough that I am afraid to wander too far from the grinder. I’m still as captive as I was with the Black and Decker, but for a different reason.

The grind seems very consistent, but I don’t think the “seventeen settings” are really that different. In fact, I don’t think the coarsest setting is very coarse at all. I don’t think it’s coarse enough for New Orleans-style cold press coffee. It may be too fine depending on the filter on your French press.

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Finest setting. Notice how uniform the grind is. That’s pretty nice.

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Medium setting. The uniformity of the grind is still very good, but this looks similar to the finest setting. Certainly not eight more degrees of coarseness as indicated by the dial.

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Coarsest setting. This is certainly more coarse than the finest grind, but it’s still pretty fine. The differences are not as noticeable with the naked eye; basically the coarsest and medium grind look the same to me, and the medium and finest grind look the same.

Here’s a video I made about the Krups GVX-1 if you want to see it in action:

Conclusion

Overall I am happy with the Krups GVX-1 grinder. I paid $30 for it, which was close enough to the price of the Black & Decker for me to solidly recommend it. If I paid $50 or so for it I would still be satisfied. There is no way I would pay the $85 retail price for it; that’s far too near in price to a “real” coffee grinder.

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6 Comments on "Krups GVX-1 Burr Coffee Grinder Review"

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  1. Steve says:

    Excellent concise, cogent review, Dr Faulken, I was eyeing this at the store – so, most appreciated!

    Steve

  2. Michelle says:

    Krups GVX 114 Costco – was an excellent grinder while it lasted (home use once a day) – The unit died exactly 3 Months after purchase ! Even though Krups was a great Company when the products were made in Germany – but this Unit was made in China – so no surprise – just disappointing.

  3. Mallie says:

    I have had the same experience as Michelle. The appliance was great until it just…stopped three and a half months after I bought it—Krups,Breville,and Cuisinart have all failed within one year of purchase. So depressing. Good review,(I bought based on this review)At least subsequent readers will find our comments below.
    Cheers–

  4. Michelle says:

    Update to my post January 31 – Since I had nothing to lose I fixed the unit – it is working again. Cleaned out every possible area of minute coffee-grounds – without unscrewing any parts. With a big magnifying glass checked for any tiny coffee grounds preventing the tiny safety knobs to engage – especially the one where the lid should push it down – (almost impossible to get to … design flaw). With a tooth pic carefully probed for the tiny knob and very carefully tried to push it down (as the lid would do) It was stuck in the safety position-up – with a lot of patience got to move again. Also cleaned out the part where the coffee comes out into the basket.

  5. Bill says:

    My Krups failed after about 13 months of use. I took it apart and found that the thermal cut out attached to the motor had blown open. Removed it from the circuit and installed a fuse. Grinder works again, we will see for how long. The old Braun grinders did a better job at 1/3 the price. With a bit of googling I’ve now even found where to buy some new blades.

  6. Ed says:

    I was excited when I took it out of the box and thought that it looked nice. I followed the instructions and on my very first grind I was thinking that I should not stand this close to it while it’s operating due to the noise. When I pulled the container out of the grinder coffee went everywhere. It somehow electrically charged the coffee and when the lid came off the coffee flew all over the counter. Even taking the lid off slowly and holding it over the coffee pot makes quite a mess. I have to put paper towels down all over the counter and still end up amazed at the mess.
    I called KRUPS customer service and was told that they have heard of this happening and that cleaning up after is a normal part of grinding coffee. Really!!!!
    Anyway if anybody wants a REALLY loud and MESSY coffee grinder that looks great, look for my listing on eBay or check the local thrift shop.
    TOTALLY UNHAPPY with Customer Service and performance

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